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Excessive Surfing on Social Media Websites May Impact Sleep Patterns

by Reshma Anand on January 27, 2016 at 2:28 PM
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Excessive Surfing on Social Media Websites May Impact Sleep Patterns

Youngsters who spend a lot of time on browsing through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter may have an altered sleeping patterns, revealed a new study.

A study published in the Journal Preventive Medicine was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It was led by Dr. Levenson and her colleagues who sampled 1,788 U.S. adults ages 19 through 32, using questionnaires to determine social media use and an established measurement system to assess sleep disturbances.

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"This is one of the first pieces of evidence that social media use really can impact your sleep. And it uniquely examines the association between social media use and sleep among young adults who are, arguably, the first generation to grow up with social media," said lead author Jessica C. Levenson, a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt's Department of Psychiatry.

The participants were asked to answer questionnaire on various social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
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Researchers found that the participants used social media for 61 minutes per day and assessed various social media accounts 30 times per week. This showed that nearly 30 percent of the participants had higher levels of sleep disturbance.

The study found that those who frequently checked social media throughout the week had three times the likelihood of sleep disturbances and who spent most of their time on social media throughout the day had twice the risk of sleep disturbance, compared to those who spent less time on social media.

"This may indicate that frequency of social media visits is a better predictor of sleep difficulty than overall time spent on social media. If this is the case, then interventions that counter obsessive 'checking' behavior may be most effective," Dr. Levenson explained.

Source: Medindia
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